This Land Is Mine

I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene of my potential-possible-maybe- feature film, Seder-Masochism, but it’s the first (and so far only) scene I’ve animated. As the Bible says, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Who’s Killing Who? A Viewer’s Guide

Because you can’t tell the players without a pogrom!

Early Man


Early Man
This generic “cave man” represents the first human settlers in Israel/Canaan/the Levant. Whoever they were.




What did ancient Canaanites look like? I don’t know, so this is based on ancient Sumerian art.

Ancient Egyptian



Canaan was located between two huge empires. Egypt controlled it sometimes, and…




….Assyria controlled it other times.




The “Children of Israel” conquered the shit out of the region, according to bloody and violent Old Testament accounts.




Then the Baylonians destroyed their temple and took the Hebrews into exile.





Here comes Alexander the Great, conquering everything!




No sooner did Alexander conquer everything, than his generals divided it up and fought with each other.




Greek descendants of Ptolemy, another of Alexander’s competing generals, ruled Egypt dressed like Egyptian god-kings. (The famous Cleopatra of western mythology and Hollywood was a Ptolemy.)




More Greek-Macedonian legacies of Alexander.


Hebrew Priest

Hebrew Priest
This guy didn’t fight, he just ran the Second Temple re-established by Hebrews in Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile.


Led by Judah “The Hammer” Maccabee, who fought the Seleucids, saved the Temple, and invented Channukah. Until…




….the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and absorbed the region into the Roman Empire…




….which split into Eastern and Western Empires. The eastern part was called the Byzantine Empire. I don’t know if “Romans” ever fought “Byzantines” (Eastern Romans) but this is a cartoon.





Arab Caliph
Speaking of cartoon, what did an Arab Caliph look like? This was my best guess.




After Crusaders went a-killin’ in the name of Jesus Christ, they established Crusader states, most notably the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Egyptian Mamluk



Mamluk of Egypt
Wikipedia sez, “Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies…In places such as Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be “true lords”, with social status above freeborn Muslims.[7]” And apparently they controlled Palestine for a while.


Ottoman Turk


Ottoman Turk
Did I mention this is a cartoon? Probably no one went to battle looking like this. But big turbans, rich clothing and jewelry seemed to be in vogue among Ottoman Turkish elites, according to paintings I found on the Internet.




A gross generalization of a generic 19-century “Arab”.



The British formed alliances with Arabs, then occupied Palestine. This cartoon is an oversimplification, and uses this British caricature as a stand-in for Europeans in general.




The British occupied this guy’s land, only to leave it to a vast influx of….

European Jew/Zionist


European Jew/Zionist
Desperate and traumatized survivors of European pogroms and death camps, Jewish Zionist settlers were ready to fight to the death for a place to call home, but…




….so were the people that lived there. Various militarized resistance movements arose in response to Israel: The Palestinian Liberation Organization, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

State of Israel



Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/TerroristState of Israel
Backed by “the West,” especially the US, they got lots of weapons and the only sanctioned nukes in the region.


Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/Terrorist
Sometimes people fight in military uniforms, sometimes they don’t. Creeping up alongside are illicit nukes possibly from Iran or elsewhere in the region. Who’s Next?

Angel of Death




and finally…

The Angel of Death
The real hero of the Old Testament, and right now too.


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1,107 comments to This Land Is Mine

  • […] Reference and original, including an explanation about each character in this video: […]

  • […] La lista de los personajes (vía NinaPaley): […]

  • A masterpiece and one of the few pieces online that isn’t just pure propaganda. Thanks.

  • jamie

    I just love your work. I especially love “This Land Is Mine.” Beautifully done. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

  • Otaku Sang

    I can’t stop watching it, and I can’t stop laughing over it. Thanks.

  • ZOMAUG-OSH….NINA….not to detract, but.

    i thought of this great comic strip concept, and it’s yours if you want to develop it….Ready? ok;

    the first frame starts on the planet of wanted children where the only rule is every child a wanted child…

    the next frame is the same planet or the planet of wanted children becomes the planet of 20 billion childless children + 2 parents planning their 10,000,000th child ( because the technology to do that exists ), might take another frame.

    in the next frame the 20 million childless children say “we don’t want a child”

    in the next frame , the two parents say, “we know none of you want children which is why you don’t have children, because this is the planet of wanted children, and we want soooooo mannny Mooooore”

    in the next frame, the 20 billion chidless people say….” no you don’t understand we don’t want any more children ”

    and the parents say, “oh you have children too….isn’t it wonderful”

    20 billion childless people ” no none of us has children ”

    two parents to each other ” did you hear that honey we better get busy”

    20 million childless people “i guess what we are trying to say is that WE don’t want you to have another child ”

    parents “but we want another child, and another and another..”

    20 billion childless people ” BUT WE DON”T WANT IT !!!! “

  • pedro

    I agree with jorge : You depict zionists as dark clothed guys with guns in their hands. This is not completely fair since jews have lived in the land before and many were refugees (victims). If you read muslim story and hadiths you will find out that Mohamed cut 800 heads of jews in a single day . All the males of a jewish tribe of Medina. Besides the jews from Arabic Peninsula were expelled. Adith quote: “Judgment Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah , there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’”. So the anthipaty in the muslim world against jews predates the state of israel. To present jews as agressors -i am refering to the zionists in black – when in fact they have been persecuted throughout histoty is not fair. Besides in 1947 it was the arabs who declated holy war against the jews.

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